Spartan Profile - Aylin Marz
Norfolk State University
NSU News
Spartan Profile

Dr. Aylin Marz
Title: Assistant Professor, Biology Department
School: College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Dr. Aylin Marz
Dr. Aylin Marz

I've been an educator, on and off, since 1992. It all started with teaching middle and high school after graduating from college. In graduate school, I taught as a graduate teaching assistant. Later, I mentored students in the laboratory where I worked as a postdoctoral fellow. After establishing my own laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, I continued teaching and mentoring undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students. This was followed by working as adjunct faculty for three years teaching community college, career-college and university. I began my stint at Norfolk State in the fall semester of 2016 teaching introductory biology, anatomy and physiology. My position here at NSU also requires me to teach histology and embryology. I will be teaching histology in the fall.

My teaching philosophy involves challenging students to aim high while making sure they have the support needed to succeed. A good analogy of my philosophy is like putting students on a tightrope to see if they can make it across, but making sure there is a safety net under them in case they fall. Students need to learn to get right back up if they fall until they make it across . . . one way or another. In my years of teaching, I find that students do better when they are not stressed or anxious. To relieve student anxiety and nurture them so they can reach their potential, I have developed a flexible approach that is also academically rigorous and rewarding. My students here at NSU have been amazing! Many of them juggle having a job, a full load of classes and extracurricular activities . . . doing all that with a smile and a good attitude.

Because I teach a full load in the fall and spring, summer is a good time to get research going. The biology of cells under stress has been a unifying theme for my research. Understanding how normal cells respond to DNA repair stress, how these responses change in progression to cancer and how we can employ this knowledge to find diagnostic markers of cancer progression are my research interest areas. I am also interested in developing systematic approaches to the improve student involvement in research.

I want my students to know that I care deeply about their success and that I work really hard to develop strategies to help them succeed. To my colleagues, I want them to know that I care deeply about this institution and making NSU a better place. I have a really strong research background that I hope will be supported and utilized to benefit NSU.